Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Modeling and simulation of call centers.

By A.N. Avramidis and P. L'Ecuyer


In this review, we introduce key notions and describe the decision problems commonly encountered in call center management. Main themes are the central role of uncertainty throughout the decision hierarchy and the many operational complexities and relationships between decisions. We make connections to analytical models in the literature, emphasizing insights gained and model limitations. The high operational complexity and the prevalent uncertainty suggest that simulation modeling and simulation-based decision-making could have a central role in the management of call centers. We formulate some common decision problems and point to recently developed simulation-based solution techniques. We review recent work that supports modeling the primitive inputs to a call center and highlight call center modeling difficulties

Topics: Q1, H1
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

Suggested articles


  1. 2004a.A diffusion approximation for the g/gi/n/m queue.
  2. (2005). A method for staffing large call centers based on stochastic fluid models. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management.
  3. (2004). Approximating multi-skill blocking systems by hyperexponentialdecomposition.Technicalreport,VrijeUniversiteit, The Netherlands,
  4. (2005). Call center mathematics.
  5. (2003). Call center simulation modeling: Methods, challenges, and opportunities.
  6. (2004). Call center staffing with simulation and cutting plane methods.
  7. (2003). Call centers (centres): Research bibliography with abstracts. Downloadable from References/ccbib.pdf>.
  8. (2003). Combining integer programming and the randomization method to schedule employees.
  9. (2004). Dimensioning large call centers.
  10. (2004). Dynamic routing policies in multi-skill call centers.
  11. (2001). Dynamic scheduling of a system with two parallel servers in heavy traffic with resource pooling: asymptotic optimality of a threshold policy.
  12. (1995). Dynamic scheduling with convex delaycosts: thegeneralizedcmurule.AnnalsofApplied Probability 5:809–833.
  13. (1997). Empirical validation of call holding
  14. (1986). Estimation of a caller retrialrateforatelephoneinformationsystem.European
  15. (2000). Exponential approximation of multi-skill call center architecture.
  16. (2004). Fluid models for many-server queues with abandonments. Operations Research.
  17. (1981). Heavy-traffic limits for queues with many exponential servers.
  18. (1943). Intensitätsschwankungen im fernsprechverkehr. Ericsson Technics 44:1–189.
  19. (1998). Investment strategies for flexible resources.
  20. K.Hoffman, andP.Saunders.1987.Modelingthe irs telephone taxpayer information system.
  21. (2002). Managing learning and turnover in employee staffing. Operations Research 50:991–1006. Green,L.V.,andP.J.Kolesar.1991.Thepointwisestationary approximation for queues with nonstationary arrivals.
  22. (2001). Managing uncertainty in call centers using Poisson mixtures. Applied Stochastic Models
  23. (2003). Modeling and simulation of a telephone call center.
  24. (2004). Modeling daily arrivals to a telephone call center.
  25. (2003). Modélisation et simulation d’un centre d’appels téléphoniques dans un environnement mixte.
  26. (1983). Models and methods for evaluating customer acceptance of telephone connections.
  27. (2004). On the interaction between retrials and sizing of call centers.
  28. (2002). Queueing models of call centers: An introduction.
  29. (2004). Resource pooling and staffing in call centers with skill-based routing.
  30. (2004). Routingandstaffinginlargecallcenterswithspecializedand fully flexible servers.
  31. (2004). Scheduling flexible servers with convex delay costs: Heavy-traffic optimality of the generalized c-mu rule.
  32. (2004). Sensitivity of performance in the Erlang a model to changes in the model parameters.
  33. (2004). Service system planning in the presence of a random arrival rate.
  34. (2004). Staffing a call center with uncertain arrival rate and absenteeism.
  35. (2005). Staffing multi-skill call centers using a performance approximation and search methods.
  36. (2004). Staffing multiskill call centers via linear programming and simulation.
  37. (2005). Statistical analysis of a telephone call center: A queueing-science perspective.
  38. (1991). Statistical techniques for manpower planning. 2nd ed.
  39. (2003). Telephone call centers: Tutorial, review, and research prospects.
  40. (1991). The pointwise stationary approximation for M(t)/M(t)/s queues is asymptotically correct as the rates increase.
  41. (2001). Two issues in setting call center staffing levels.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.